Catchup post about various ebooks recently acquired.
Acquired from Kobo in 2022:
Even Though I Knew The End, by C.L. Polk. SF novella. Picked up because C.L. Polk’s books have generally impressed me and I expect this one to be no different.
The Spare Man, by Mary Robinette Kowal. SF/Mystery. Which I have already read as of the writing of this post, and which was delightful.
The Beautiful Ones, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Probably more Gothic-flavored fantasy? Nabbed this on general because Silvia Moreno-Garcia Is Awesome grounds.
Tread of Angels, by Rebecca Roanhorse. Dark fantasy with a side helping of Western.
The Secret Skin, by Wendy Wagner. Described on the cover as “sawmill Gothic”. I’ve read this as of this writing, and ultimately found it unsatisfying–partly because it’s a novella, and IMO too short to really fully develop the plot it was laying out.
The Annual Migration of Clouds, by Premee Mohammed. SF.
Cradle and Grave, by Anya Ow. Post-apocalyptic SF.
The Stars Undying, by Emery Robin. SF/space opera.
When Women Were Dragons, by Kelly Barnhill. Not sure whether this qualifies as fantasy, or magical realism, or just historical fiction with fantastic elements? It’s our world only women can periodically transform into dragons, and this novel’s about the upheaval that happens in one family as a result. I’ve read this already and found it pretty delightful as well. Lots of themes along the lines of women being angry at how they are repressed in life.
Acquired from Amazon in 2023:
Red Shoes: A Riverhaven Novel, by Satyros Phil Brucato. Urban fantasy. Picked this up since it’s written by one of the extended SF/F community in the PNW.
Meru, by S.B. Divya. SF. Picked up because it was on sale via Amazon Prime’s First Reads.
Got the new COVID-19 bivalent booster yesterday, so I’m taking today and tomorrow off in case I have any side effects. So far so good, I’m fine, which means I have the opportunity to dig into my email backlog! So here, have another ebook report!
Acquired for free from Tor.com:
The Empress of Salt and Fortune, by Nghi Vo. Book 1 of the author’s Singing Hills Cycle. Offered for free by Tor.com via their occasional freebies program, so I nabbed it.
Acquired from Kobo:
The Steal, The Bait, and The Heist, by M.J. Rose and C.W. Gortner. Romantic suspense/heist/caper series, set in the 50’s. Nabbed these because I think I saw them mentioned on Dear Author? Regardless, the concept sounded kind of delightful, and all three entries in the series are available for a low price, so I got ’em.
The Four Profound Weaves and The Unbalancing, by R.B. Lemberg. Grabbed these because they are set in the Birdverse, a setting that appears to be explicitly pro-queer and pro-trans, and I feel like I need more of that in my fiction right now.
Star Wars: The Princess and the Scoundrel, by Beth Revis. I’d say I got this on the strength of this Smart Bitches guest review, but let’s get real here: it’s a story about Leia Organa and Han Solo, and how the hell could I not pick this up? :D
Y’all have probably noticed that the vast majority of my blogging activity lately has been all about the Skyrim. Still though I do periodically try to remember that I need to beat down my email queue, and also get caught up on things like “which new ebooks do I need to make sure and pull into Calibre?”
So here’s a roundup of ebook activity over the last several months, since today is a “beat down the email queue” kind of day.
Acquired from Project Gutenberg:
Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. Nabbed this because they did a readthrough of it on Tor.com’s recurring Reading the Weird column, and I felt it was high time I checked this out.
Pre-ordered from Kobo:
A Half-Built Garden, by Ruthanna Emrys. SF. Combo of first contact/climate catastrophe type novel. (And as I write this, pretty sure this book is actually about to drop.)
Nona the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir. Book 3 of her Locked Tomb series, because of fucking course I’m buying this book, after the awesomeness of Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth.
The Book Eaters, by Sunyi Dean. Ordered this because of this preview posted to Tor.com, which seized me by the highly original idea of a secret lineage who survives by literally eating books.
Station Eternity, by Mur Lafferty. SF/Mystery, book 1 of the forthcoming Midsolar Murders series. Queued this up because I very much enjoyed a couple other Lafferty titles, Six Wakes and The Shambling Guide to New York City.
And acquired from Kobo:
For the Wolf, by Hannah Whitten. Fairy-tale-adjacent YA.
A Curious Beginning, by Deanna Raybourn. Mystery. First book of her Veronica Speedwell series.
Wrath Goddess Sing, by Maya Deane. Fantasy. Nabbed this because it’s a trans retelling of the Trojan War, reimagining Achilles as a trans woman. I am here for this.
A Lady for a Duke, by Alexis Hall. Historical romance. Nabbed this because the heroine is a trans woman and I am real interested to see how this plays out in a historical romance context.
The Calyx Charm, by May Peterson. Book 3 of her Sacred Dark series. And yet another one I’m grabbing because trans heroine. In this specific case, I love that cover, the heroine has amazing hair. <3
The Jane Austen Project, by Kathleen A. Flynn. SF. Nabbed this as it’s a combo of SF/Time Travel, a love story, and heavy emphasis on Jane Austen! Hoping this will be as engaging as it sounds.
The Kaiju Preservation Society, by John Scalzi. SF. Nabbed for general “because Scalzi has a very consistent history of entertaining the hell out of me”, and also, kaiju!
Just Like Home, by Sarah Gailey. Horror. Nabbed because Gailey also has a consistent history of entertaining the hell out of me.
Nabbed from Kobo and Amazon explicitly on the strength of various reviews by James Nicoll:
The Tale of Princess Fatima, Warrior Woman, translated by Melanie Magidow. Kinda adore that cover.
The Stardust Thief, by Chelsea Abdullah. Fantasy. Inspired by Arabian Nights.
January Fifteenth, by Rachel Swirsky. SF. Nabbed because I like the concept of exploring what a UBI in the United States might actually look like in terms of effects on a selection of citizens.
Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963) and Rediscovery 2: Science Fiction by Women (1953-1957), edited by Gideon Marcus. I’m not normally an anthology reader, but I really liked the concept of these ones, revisiting stories written by women in the earlier years of the SF/F genre.
The Red Palace, by June Hur. Mystery. Nabbed this because it’s a period mystery not set anywhere in Europe. It’s in Korea. Highly interested to check this out.
The Language of Roses, by Heather Rose Jones. This appears to be a queer/aromantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and that’s certainly unusual enough to make me want to check it out.
Eric John Stark: Outlaw of Mars, by Leigh Brackett. Got this on the grounds that Brackett is known for having been a writer on The Empire Strikes Back, and I wanted to check out some of her other work. This title is actually two of her books in one release. Not a fan of the cover, but there wasn’t a better one to be had!
Previous pre-order from Kobo that showed up:
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Acquired from Amazon:
Legends and Lattes, by Travis Baldree. Grabbed this because I heard a lot of buzz about it earlier this year, putting it into the general area of “cozy fantasy”. I really love the idea of a big butch orc running a coffee shop. <3
The Flamingo’s Fated Mate, by Elva Birch. Nabbed this because I heard about it via C.E. Murphy’s newsletter, and it sounds hilarious, as a sendup of shifter romances. :D
Song of the Forever Rains and Dance of the Burning Sea, by E.J. Mellow. Grabbed these because they were talked up on Smart Bitches. Intrigued by the prospect of a series about a group of siblings raised to be incredibly powerful magic users.
Beneath Devil’s Bridge and The Patient’s Secret, by Loreth Anne White. Nabbed for when I’m in the mood for thrillers.
At the Quiet Edge, by Victoria Helen Stone. Also nabbed for when I’m in the mood for thrillers.
Pre-ordered from Amazon:
Symphony for a Deadly Throne, by E.J. Mellow. Book 3 to go with the two books above.
Another overdue ebook roundup post. Here are titles I’ve picked up over the last few months.
Acquired from Kobo:
Star Trek: Discovery: Wonderlands, by Una McCormack. Grabbed this one as it fills in a gap at the beginning of Season 3, covering the events of the year Michael Burnham spends waiting for her ship to catch up with her.
The Demon Equilibrium, by Cathy Pegau. Paranormal/historical romance, also queer. Picked this up on the strength of this review on Smart Bitches, also on the strength of Pegau being a fellow Carina author!
Olive Bright, Pigeoneer, by Stephanie Graves. Mystery, set in Britain in WWII. Nabbed this because I saw the review for Book 2 on Criminal Element, and that sounded interesting enough that I looked at their review of Book 1 as well, which I then purchased.
The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore. Non-fiction. Picked this up because it went on sale in ebook form for a little bit, and because I’d heard it talked up on Smart Bitches podcasts. Account of what happened with young women working in radium dial factories in World War I.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built, by Becky Chambers. SF. Nabbed this as this is the first book in a new series from her, and I’ve really liked her strong character-driven SF so far. And her titles. <3
A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger. Fantasy YA. Got this out of interest in SF/F from indigenous authors; Darcie Little Badger is Apache.
Hild, by Nicola Griffith. Historical fantasy. Nabbed this because I’ve been interested in reading it for a while, and was reminded I still needed to buy a copy.
The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard. Another thing I’d been interested in reading for a while, and which finally popped off the queue to be bought.
Scales and Sensibility, by Stephanie Burgis. Fantasy/fantasy romance, I think. Book 1 of her Regency Dragons series. Nabbed this just because I do love the Regency era + magic or fantasy elements.
Lady August, by Becky Michaels. Historical romance, Book 1 of her Linfield Hall series. Got this one because Book 2 of the series showed up in this Cover Awe post by Smart Bitches, and I was impressed enough by that cover to look up more about the series. Saw that A Rake Like You was actually Book 2, so I went and got Book 1 to read. (And I gotta say, I like this trend of illustrated covers on romance novels lately.)
Certain Dark Things, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Because as I note below, Mexican Gothic was huge fun, swinging out to find more of this author’s work now.
Battle of the Linguist Mages, by Scotto Moore. SF. Grabbed this pretty much on the grounds of any SF involving linguistic nerdery sounds like SF I need to be reading!
The Pages of the Mind, by Jeffe Kennedy. Fantasy romance. Nabbed this because another thing I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and because I really like the imagery on the cover. Picked this up for free by redeeming points on my Kobo account!
Pre-orders that showed up from Kobo:
The Thousand Eyes, by A.K. Larkwood. Book 2 of her Serpent Gates series. I really liked Book 1, The Unspoken Name!
Pre-order placed with Kobo:
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Nabbed this because holy shit Mexican Gothic was fun, and because Kobo’s recommendation algorithm actually correctly deduced that another book by her is Highly Relevant to My Interests. This book is due to drop in July!
Now that the house net is back up and stable again, and I’m on a three-day weekend where I don’t have to worry about things being on fire at the day job, I have the time to dig back through my inbox and get caught up on tallying my ebook purchases!
This post will cover the tail end of 2021’s purchases and also lay down the initial ones for 2022.
Purchased from Kobo in 2021:
A Marvellous Light, by Freya Marske. Book 1 of The Last Binding. Fantasy set in Edwardian England, with a side of M/M romance. Nabbed because of seeing positive buzz for it on Tor.com
Comfort Me With Apples, by Catherynne M. Valente. Nabbed this because I’ve read and enjoyed quite a bit of her work, and the idea of her doing a gaslit-wife kind of thriller is intriguing.
The Wolf and the Woodsman, by Ava Reid. Fantasy. Nabbed this because it was on sale at the time, for $1.99. Also, because fantasy influenced by Hungarian mythology sounded potentially fun and different.
Murder on Black Swan Lane, by Andrea Penrose. Mystery. Book 1 of Wrexford & Sloane. Nabbed this because I’d originally seen buzz about it on Smart Bitches as a period British-set mystery, a genre I generally enjoy. Tried to check it out from the library but never started reading it before the checkout ran out, so I just went ahead and bought it.
State of Terror, by Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Yes, that Hillary Clinton.) Thriller. Nabbed this because I like Louise Penny’s writing and was legit curious about how a thriller Hillary Clinton is involved with would turn out. Started reading it as a library book, but the library checkout ran out, so I just bought the thing so I could finish it.
The Scholars of Night, by John M. Ford. Another thriller, a newer edition of this book as a bunch of Ford’s backlist has been re-published since his death. Dara started reading this one in print and liked it, so this was another one I checked out first from the library and then just decided to go ahead and buy.
Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory, by Martha Wells. SF. This is a short story about Murderbot! Bought because Murderbot. <3
Sisters of the Vast Black, by Lina Rather. SF. Our Lady of Endless Worlds #1. Nabbed this because I kept hearing good things about it, so finally picked it up.
Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor. Fantasy. Book 1 of her Nsibidi Scripts series, and YA. Nabbed this because it was on sale for $2.99 at the time, and also because I want to read more SF/F out of the African diaspora. And, it has a gorgeous cover.
Sisters in Arms, by Kaia Alderson. Historical fiction. Another book I initially started reading as a library checkout, but the checkout ran out, so I just bought it. This is a story about a regiment of Black women serving during WWII and I’m here for that!
Last Night at the Telegraph Club, by Malinda Lo. Historical fiction/romance, and specifically queer, F/F romance between two young women, set during the Red Scare in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Very interested to see how this’ll read. I quite liked this author’s book Huntress, too.
Purchased from Kobo in 2022:
West End Earl, by Bethany Bennett. Historical romance. Book 2 of Misfits of Mayfair. Nabbed this because it got talked up on Smart Bitches for having a gorgeous cover and really, I agree. I love the use of yellow on the cover art, which makes it bright and cheerful, and that’s a thing I really need in my life right now! And, the summary seemed fun, as did the sample I read on Kobo’s site.
Purchased from Amazon in 2022:
Vessel of Starfire and The Last Witch Queen, by Allison Carr Waechter. YA Fantasy. Books 1 and 2 of the Outlaws of Interra trilogy. Nabbed these because the first one’s cover was called out on Smart Bitches on a Cover Awe post, and I agreed it was lovely! Plus I wanted to pick these up for F/F romance goodness. And I bought both of them because they were nice and cheap!
Dangerous Ground and Crash Site, by Fiona Carver. Thriller. Books 1 and 2 of the Fiona Carver series. Nabbed these again because of a Smart Bitches Cover Awe post, and because the individual titles of the series were not expensive.
The Raven Spell, by Luanne G. Smith. Fantasy, Book 1 of Conspiracy of Magic. Nabbed this because I saw an ad for it, and because it sounds like fun, particularly with a hook about a hero who’s had his memory rattled around by an attack and needs help from the heroine to find out who targeted him.
Took a backhoe to my gigantic email backlog yesterday, and that included dealing with receipts from assorted ebook purchases and getting those files incorporated into my Calibre library! Here now are those books, rounded up.
Acquired from Kobo:
Aetherbound, by E.K. Johnston. SF/YA. Got this one mostly because I really liked the cover design, and when i read a sample, I found it engaging enough that I’d like to see where the story goes. I like the central story concept of a traveling generation ship where the crew is successive generations of the same family, and the heroine being a young daughter of this family who wants out.
Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao. SF/YA. This seems a mix of Chinese mythos, bunches of anime of the “mecha powered by pilots” type, and Pacific Rim. The heroine is a young woman in a culture where females serve as the “concubine/pilots” for male pilots of mecha, and are frequently killed by the strain of the psychic link these pairings require. Only our heroine, a so-called “iron widow”, is capable of turning that psychic link around and taking out her male copilots instead. I’m here for it.
Hands of the Emperor and Stargazy Pie, by Victoria Goddard. Fantasy. Bought both of these on the strength of this article on Tor.com, which speaks very glowingly of this author’s work. And from what I see here, there’s a lot of Anna bait in her stories.
The Anatomist’s Wife, by Anna Lee Huber. Mystery. Got this one when I saw it come up as on sale via one of Smart Bitches Trashy Books’ sale posts.
We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep, by Andrew Kelly Stewart. SF. This is post-apocalyptic so I’m not sure how much of a headspace I’m going to have to read this any time soon, but that said, I’m intrigued by the idea of the crew of the last nuclear submarine on the planet turning into a religious sect bent on firing their last missile to trigger the Second Coming. And the protagonist is a young girl kidnapped and raised into the crew as one of their Choristers, only nobody realizes she’s female.
When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky, by Margaret Verble. This seems to be a magic-realism type story, or what I’d be calling historical urban fantasy if it was getting sold under the SF/F bracket of stories. But it’s getting marketed as general fiction, so…? Period piece with a Native American heroine at a carnival.
Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke. Grabbed this on the strength of this being the next book by the author of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I have already read it; I got it as a library checkout, and then decided I wanted to own my own copy. It’s not nearly as long as its predecessor, and it’s not terribly heavy on action–but it is rich on imagery and theme and characters. Very glad I read it.
Pre-orders that showed up:
Grave Reservations, by Cherie Priest
Noor, by Nnedi Okorafor
You Feel It Just Below the Ribs, by Jeffrey Cranor and Janina Matthewson
This is another one of those days when I look at my overflowing inbox and go geez woman get caught up on your email, why don’t you?
So this is me reviewing my various backlogged ebook purchase receipts!
Acquired from Kobo:
The Infernal City and Lord of Souls, which are the two Elder Scrolls novels written by Greg Keyes, released back in 2009 and 2011. The events in them apparently take place between what happens in Oblivion, and what happens in Skyrim. For the interested, more info on the novels can be found on the wiki I follow for my Skyrim playthroughs, here.
Bombshell, by Sarah MacLean. Romance. Grabbed this one because I’ve read a different historical romance series by this author and enjoyed it! And also, this review on Smart Bitches, even though they gave it a B-, made it sound fun.
The Luminous Dead, by Caitlin Starling. SF/Horror. Nabbed this because it went on sale for $1.99, and because I’ve seen good buzz about it. Taking a shot on it because it’s pitched as a gripping SF/horror story with a fairly fucked-up level of interaction between the two female protagonists.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie. Mystery. This is the first Hercule Poirot novel, which I’ve never read. Nabbed it because it was a new edition of the book, on sale for $2.99, and because I really like the cover St. Martin’s Press put on it. (You can see that cover here on the Kobo page for the ebook.)
Pre-ordered from Kobo:
Noor, by Nnedi Okorafor. SF. Got this because I’ve definitely enjoyed work by this author before. And buzz going around about this book made it sound like something I want to pick up.
The Thousand Eyes, by A.K. Larkwood. Fantasy. This is book 2 of the author’s Serpent Gates series. I really liked Book 1, The Unspoken Name, for splendid worldbuilding, a compelling F/F romance, and an orc heroine! Very much looking forward to this one.
Acquired from Amazon:
Bacchanal, by Veronica G. Henry. Depression-era historical fantasy/horror mix, with a story about a demonic carnival. (If this sounds interesting to you, note that this was an Amazon-only release, in case this is a dealbreaker for you purchasing it.)
Easy Pickings, by C.E. Murphy and Faith Hunter. Urban fantasy. This is crossover fic for the Walker Papers and Jane Yellowrock series, written by the authors themselves, in which they set up a scenario where their heroines can actually meet. Awesome. Sign me up!
Fugitive Telemetry, by Martha Wells. SF. Specifically, her next Murderbot book, and OF COURSE I want more Murderbot!
Acquired from Kobo:
Alice Isn’t Dead, by Joseph Fink. This is the novelization of the story from the podcast of the same name, from one of the two masterminds of Welcome to Night Vale. I liked the podcast version of this story quite a bit and look forward to reading the novel adaptation of same.
The Space Between Worlds, by Micaiah Johnson. SF. Nabbed this because it sounds like an interesting parallel-worlds type thriller, and because it was on sale for $1.99 as of the time of my purchase.
Winter’s Orbit, by Everina Maxwell. SF/Space Opera. Nabbed this one because it’s been getting good buzz, and because it’s a queer romance/space opera type scenario, and because I really rather like the tagline on the cover.
A History of What Comes Next, by Sylvain Neuvel. SF. Nabbed this one because I’ve enjoyed other work by this author, and because the period-set SF vibe appeals to me after having had great fun reading Mary Robinette Kowal’s recent work in that realm.
Fireheart Tiger, by Aliette de Bodard. Fantasy. Nabbing this because F/F romance and also because my word that cover is gorgeous.
Nights of the Living Dead, by various authors. Zombies! As one might guess from the title, this is influenced by Night of the Living Dead, and it is in fact an anthology telling assorted stories set in the 48-hour period of time covered by that very movie. There is an intro by George Romero in it. And, as should surprise exactly no one, there is a story by Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire in it too. This will hopefully be fun!
The Book of Earth, The Book of Water, The Book of Fire, and The Book of Air, by Marjorie B. Kellogg. Fantasy. These are the four books of Kellogg’s Dragon Quartet series. I bought Book 1 of this and read it ages ago, and eventually picked up book 2 and an omnibus of books 3 and 4 in print, but I have yet to read any of them. I nabbed all four titles in ebook on the theory that I might actually read them if I have them on the Kindle. Let’s find out!
Remnant Population, by Elizabeth Moon. SF. Nabbed this one because it showed up in a roundup by James Nicoll on Tor.com of books featuring isolation as a theme–and because the protagonist is an old woman, a rarity even today in the genre.
Soulstar, by C.L. Polk. Fantasy. Book 3 of her Kingston Cycle, which i am very much looking forward to reading.
Pre-orders that I placed:
Grave Reservations, by Cherie Priest. This is Priest’s mystery debut, but given that the heroine is a psychic, it’s clearly going to be a mystery with paranormal elements. Sign me the fuck up.
And, acquired from Kobo because I was in a mood to expand this author’s presence in my library:
A Madness in Spring, The Dress of the Season, The Game and the Governess, The Lie and the Lady, The Dare and the Doctor, and Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night, all by Kate Noble. All historical romance. A couple of these are standalones, a couple of them are novellas, and all of them are ones I look forward to reading. Noble’s on the short list of authors who historical romances I have actively enjoyed, and I’ll look forward to checking out more of her work.
(Note also for anyone besides me who likes reading historical romance: A Madness in Spring and The Dress of the Season were both available for free on Kobo, where I got them. You may wish to consult your ebook vendor of choice to see if you can get them for free as well, if you want to check out this author.)
The Lord of Stariel, by A.J. Lancaster. Fantasy with strong romantic subplot. Got this on the strength of this review over on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.
Amended total for 2020: 162
Acquired from Kobo:
The Mask of Mirrors, by M.A. Carrick. Fantasy. Got this in no small part because M.A. Carrick is a pen name for a pair of authors doing a collaboration, and one of those authors is Marie Brennan, whose Lady Trent series I adore. Plus, they have an individual going by the name of ‘Rook’ in their plot, and as anyone who’s read my Rebels books or who ever played with me on AetherMUSH knows, I am rather partial to that particular sobriquet.